It’s my personal conviction that the Internet has got to be one of the most important, if not the greatest invention of all time…we just have to consider the scope, relevance, ease of use as well as the multiplier effects and impact on all aspects of human life to agree it’s true.
I became more fascinated in recent years, after the famous article, ‘The Internet of Things’ showed how the relevance of this amazing platform keeps growing in scope and impact for individuals, families, governments and businesses alike – either big, medium or large. In fact, some would argue that all businesses are now ‘Technology Businesses’ bearing in mind the fact that, they are either, a full-fledged IT Firm involved in any aspect of the value chain, another business interest that is heavily reliant on technology or they are currently restructuring with the aid of technology to keep up with competition, that in itself is being fueled by Technology. Truth is, virtually all sectors all over the world are experiencing some form of technology-enabled disruption right now.
As individuals and business organizations; we all now live dual lives – online and offline. We try to make the switch between both realities from time to time. However hard this is, the reality is we have to make a deliberate attempt from our ‘offline versions’ to determine what we want our ‘online versions’ to be and how we intend to play in that space. One thing is sure, we can’t live on in denial of the ‘Online World’.
So the question is how exactly am I affected by this as a professional?
The reality hit me personally about 2years ago. I was having a nice chat with a couple of friends after a Career Workshop, and then the time came to exchange cards and contact details and one of them looked at me and said, “Hope Gbenga Totoyi is the name you’re using on LinkedIn I will check you out and send an invite”. Looking back at the answer I gave then, I still feel very awkward….my answer was, “I am not on LinkedIn or any other social media platform because I hate the distractions that come with it and I don’t want my life out there in the public”. Don’t worry guys, I got the schooling I needed.
I took the lessons, made the right adjustments and thank God I did. My intention here is to share a few of the things I learnt along the way and hope to help a few more people;
- Stop the social media fight – you’re too small to win it.
- Pace yourself. Take your time to understand one platform per time and find the relevance for who and what business you’re doing. Like most people did – I started with Facebook a while back and then LinkedIn like 2 years ago which has literally changed my life…
- LinkedIn is not only a job-hunting platform. It’s a lot more than that – I feel it’s essentially a meeting place for professionals all over the world. It allows you to write and publish your thoughts, ideas & articles and more importantly build a following around your areas of interest. The group discussions are amazing as you can freely share challenges you’re faced with on the job per time and get real-time feedback/solutions/templates from fellow professionals in other firms/industries and countries. It allows me to see what my old colleagues are up to in their careers per time. There’s also the opportunity to receive genuine recommendations from other professionals you’ve worked with before (projects/community causes/different units or organizations) in addition to the usual Line Manager references. Job offers/references across different time zones and locations for passive talents who may never go out of their ways to look for new opportunities is another cool part of the package.
- The self-publishing part of the platform is perhaps my favourite – I love to write and engage on career-related issues in my spare time and the platform has allowed me freedom to put out my thoughts and fulfil this desire. I’m constantly amazed by the analytics that follows each post – even my contact numbers grew more in response to my posts (I’m trying to be more consistent in 2020). Got increased viewers from countries/professionals/Industries outside my immediate HR space. Received personal emails and requests for ‘virtual counselling/mentorship’ from the strangest of places (I do my best to keep up with the requests). I must mention also that other publishing platforms reached out and asked me to write related contents for them as well. I got so much joy from all these, that I started ‘pushing’ a few friends around me to get on as well or become a bit more serious with their activities on the platform.
- As a student of the internet and online platforms, I am amazed at the growth of the platform itself – the additions of www.slideshare.net and www.lynda.com were awesome moves. The changes and updates based on user feedbacks are equally amazing. You can tell the organization is paying attention to its users and constantly taking feedback on how to improve the solution.
- Without making this too much of an exercise for the eyes – I’ll advise you equally add getting more serious with your LinkedIn account a vital part of your 2020 career goals. Trust me it pays in ways you can’t imagine.
I really hope this helps – what’s your story?
I will like to hear it.